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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  September 3, 2012 9:45pm-11:00pm EDT

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a book. and the author's presence online well as really important. >> i want to ask about one more well-known author, viking author, ray kurzweil. >> ray, how the mind works. we are coming out with a spoke in early october. he is such a bold futurist and in his upcoming book, he talks about the reverse engineering of the brain, to completely understand the brain and how that will then help us create new technology in future machines. fascinating. >> we've been talking with carolyn colburn, director of publicity at viking press. >> steven jaffe reacts to the conflict in the early states a dutch trading post through the 19th and 20th century. the author examines how each conflict affected the city including the american
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revolution when 18,000 american prisoners of war died in british presents to an explosion in a harbor freight depot executed by german agents prior to the u.s. participation in world war i. this event held at the tenement museum in new york city is about an hour. [applause] >> thank you, maurice. it's a pleasure to be here. thank you all for coming for this. i just want to second but morris was saying earlier about the museum, but the tenement museum. if you have not taken this to her of 97 down the block here, which is really the core mission of this museum is to interpret that tenement house that was built in 1863 and the generations of immigrants who became new yorkers partly
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through living there, he really over to yourself. i really think it's indispensable to understanding new york city's history in the 19th and early 20th centuries and it is really a gift to the city of new york that we have this museum. i encourage you even if you take a mature before, come please come back and take it again because there's new tours changing and it's a wonderful experience. as morris mentioned, i am here tonight to talk about my book "new york at war." i'm going to show you some images, powered point presentation which are in the book. others not in the book. the book itself really covers almost four centuries. i mean really starts with henry have been sailing into the harbor in 1609 and his initial encounters the pool and not the
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people here all the way up through september 11, 2001 and beyond. what i am going to do tonight however is narrow chronologically the focus of my presentation to really kind as make it very hand-in-hand with it. but 97 orchard street down the block, which was built in 1863 by german immigrant and was occupied successive generations, mostly immigrants newcomers can you really up until 1935 when the building was closed. and so what i'm going to be doing today is really giving you a slice of the story, really from the civil war in the 1860s to the 1930s and the onset of world war ii. in the book does deal with a bunch of intercepting overlapping themes. economics political, defense the fortification is a key
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element of course. what i want to do in addition to narrowing the chronological focus is to focus tonight on one of the particular themes of the book, which is that new york really repeatedly through its history, i would argue, has been a city at war with itself. there is a paradox really about new york's role in its various wars. i suppose you could say about america generally. i'm not trying to say new york is the only place in the united states that this has happened. but wars have often been an occasion for unity, for cohesion. you know, we are all in this together. we've all got to win this together, so we've got to put our more parochial interests aside and pulled together to win whatever word might be. but at the same time new york is a great magnet for immigrants
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from around the world, from its very earliest days in the 1620s onward, has been a place for discrete, separate populations of newcomers have often brought their own political cultures, the room loyalties and allegiances their ethnic and natural visages cultures and have ended up jostling each other. and especially at times of war come of this has the case in the year, sometimes the tragic consequences. i'm going to start by showing you these images, starting with the civil war. and again, the book starts well before that, but this is where we're starting tonight. so this is april of 1861 after the confederacy fired on fort sumter in the civil war began. this is one of the mass rallies in union square that ensued in
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new york in april 1861. and you see this outpouring of peach reaches them, flag-waving, enthusiasm. within a few weeks 16000 men from manhattan, which was then new york city and brooklyn had enlisted and were going south to guard washington d.c. it is a moment where many new yorkers hope that this unity will persist, to allow them to fight the war, support the work. but to me is kind of ironic and perhaps a harbinger of things to come in this field is this guy seems like he's not that happy in this group of perhaps militiamen dressed in revolutionary war, patriotic fervor, which seemed to take them out. new york was a city that fought
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its own civil war during the civil war. and to understand why we have to step back a little bit in the history to understand antebellum pre-city new york. it was the abolitionist movement. this is actually coversheet for the american antislavery almanac, which was an abolitionist periodical, published at the new york commensurately in new york and boston. we tend to think of boston if we know anything about abolitionism can we tend to think about bostoncome away with garrison new england movement largely or philadelphia with the quaker population been in the forefront of the antislavery movement. but there were a cadre of new yorkers, often wealthy, evangelical or evangelical protestants are quakers who felt very strongly that slavery was an abomination in the brothers,
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lewis and arthur tappan were wealthy dry goods merchants in lower, helped basically bankrolled the abolitionist movement throughout the north. henry ward beecher and brooklyn became one of the spokesman from the great protestant clergymen for the antislavery movement. this actually shows the cover illustration, which is hard to make out is basically showing bounty hunters before the 1850 slave act, but even in the 18 dirties from a bounty hunters in new york working for southern slave masters were literally kidnap overseas fugitive slaves who would come north to new york and spirit them back to the south. sometimes they grab people who were not freeborn and basically carry those people back to a slave they never even knew.
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so new york at the center is the battleground for the antislavery movement. it is also home to a very vigorous african-american community that is working with some of those white, wealthy are professional business abolitionist. this is albro lions, who ran a boarding house for african american sailors and then to water street. in the water st. no longer exists. it was subsumed into the knickerbocker houses when the public housing project was built in the 20th century related to the south and east of us towards the east river. but anyhow, she had a boarding house that was a station on the underground railroad. and he as well as other black-and-white new yorkers, both groups helped hundreds if not since a fugitive slaves making their way to the north who came to new york and these
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folks helped hide them the free from the bounty hunters and then help them get further north to include and are ultimately to canada. further douglas is one of the people who passed new york on his way out of slavery and 1830s. but new york -- there's another side to new york, which is the side that is really embedded economically and politically in the slave system of the south. new york was absolutely critical financially and economically to slavery before the civil war. this is a painting showing that falls -- i'm going to wait until that stops. don't leave without buying my book, you know
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[laughter] anyhow, this is a view of sailing ships from the south of the east river dock right before the civil war. and new york was the place that bankrolled really the hardest income in the, harvesting and shipping of southern cotton to the north and across the atlantic to liverpool from what she was sent into the manchester textile factories in england. so new york merchants, not the abolitionist ones by and large, but pro-southern merchants who had a vested interest in the pro-southern played a role really is a middleman between the slave south, financing the slave south, letting the southern planters profit. their new yorkers had a middleman between the slave south and the industrial revolution in the sense of the english factors were the ones taking cotton and turn it into cotton textiles. so new york -- many new yorkers
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in terms of the economic aspect of it will vested interest leading up to the civil war in the system. new york helps to create some of the most racist popular culture in america in the years before the civil war. this is one of the blackface minstrel songs that were pioneered really on the stage at the bowery theatre in other theaters of lower manhattan. the other connection to the south was many new yorkers of course, including tammany hall where the democratic party had ties to the national democratic party, which by and large was proslavery and pro-southern in the years before the civil war. so new york is both these things going on. in antislavery movement, but it's got a real reservoir was proslavery, pro-southern, racist thought as well.
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and then at the bottom of new york society, you have really a tenure box which is by the civil war, about 200,000 irish immigrants a quarter of the city population and about 13000 african-americans. in these two groups are competing at the bottom of new york society for the poorest housing, for the lowest paying jobs and there's tremendous friction in many parts of the city economy. between them, this is actually germane to where we are today, a view of the notorious five points neighborhood probably 10, 12 bucks for where we are right now really the creator of the lower side can the police are immigrants for his giving up of the ships in the 1820s, 30s and 40s crammed into the soul sometimes even colonial era wood frame houses, by the
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mid-19th century as as you can see is still lopsided and family after family after family screaming into these things. what you do have next to it though is one of these two tenement houses, which the next generation of immigrants will occupy. but you have at the bottom of new york city society racism, irish catholics feeling discriminated against by white anglo-saxon protestants. they resent often republicans in the irish are becoming democrat and you have the racial friction between these two groups at the bottom of the hierarchy. at the beginning of the war as i said, knee-jerk response or whether thousands they volunteered often as many of you know, with a very strong ethnic identification. so there i wish regiments the garibaldi park, which is not
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only at times, but hungarians and other central europeans fear the polish contingents come a german regiments of that one. but by a 262 can 63 the war is dragging on with no end in sight. and in 1863 come the lincoln administration and congress passed a draft law. ..
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class legislation and seen as you know part of the rich man's war in a poor man's fight part of the mote tow that became common in new york and other cities. of july 1864, when the draft law is implemented all of these background resentments explode. the largely irish working class in new york seeing this is as republican plot against them, seeing it as discrimination in a class sense. they blame the war, by this point, on slaves, the fact that slavery exists so the scapegoat becomes free african-americans in new york. they are fearful that with the emancipation proclamation which lincoln has already implemented
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going to be a flood of free prime african-americans come up to new york and take their jobs away from this. it's fanned by some of the newspaper newspapers including the "new york hair reeled." you have the tremendous riot that starts and goes on for four cays. it is to date the worst rite in american history. as many of 500 might have died. over 100 buildings are burnt down. you see the city and the state and the federal government ultimately had to bring up troops with union troops who won the battle of gettysburg up to quell this act. you have warfare in the streets in manhattan island in the middle of 1863. you have what become an
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antiblack -- as i said the resame and reacceptment result in indiscriminate attacks at african-americans, many people don't know there was lynching in the streets of new york but in july 1863, there was. this is william jones who was lynched on clarkson street what is now the lowest west side. two other black men were lynched. three other black men were beaten to death. at least 18 african-american men, women, and children were injured during the outpours of rage and racism. i should say that one of the things that i point out in the book is that there were any number of irish new yorkers who tried to intervene to help african-americans. there a number of white new yorkers, but the mob was so out of control they couldn't prevent
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tragedies like this from happening. basically at the end of the civil war, the riters had gotten what they wanted. many african-americans left new york, not to return. this is at daughter of lions the boarding housekeeper and underground station master the lovely picture of her taken around the time when she was a little girl living in that underground railroad station in lower manhattan. the family basically on the third night, i think it is of the riot, their boarding show burnt down, and they have to move. they basically move to providence rhode island. as she said in a memoir that she wrote in as an adult. we were living in exile from new york city. there was a sense this which the rite so traumatized the black
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community it's not for awhile before the black population in new york starts cresting again in the later 19th century. the years after the civil war brought new kinds of attentions. tensions were building before the war. even though the us was at peace there was no foreign war in the 1870s and '80s to speak of. you have the sense of perhaps a class war in the making. new york afterall is the richest and arguably the poorest place in the country. with all the immigrants pouring in with but with wall street and manufacturing a minority of properties businessmen and professionals in the city. you get the extremes conspicuous extremes and wealth and pouf any
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the new york unparalleled by any other place in the country. this is william whitney's drawing room of the make fifth avenue and 68th street across from central park. it's not there anymore. one of the big fifth avenue apartment buildings there is now. there is the drawing room. he was a fitnessier his daughter-in-law founded the museum. he became secretary of the navy. you see it's an indication of the kind of great wealthy that the successful if you will the 1% in new york in the late 19th century could enjoy. the other extreme is this. this is a photograph byron photograph from about the turn of the century. kids in new york city playing by the dead horse. i don't know -- i don't know if the actual street has been
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identified. where the specifically was, but this of course is the other extreme of life in new york. by the 1870s, so you have a growing sense of two new yorkers which might come in to collision literal any the streets of the city during 1870 there's a bad recession. the recession of 1873 lasts for several years and brings some of the class antagonism to a head. this is 1874 thomas square park which has been a side of controversy and confrontation between new yorkers. this was discouring's -- during the depression various labor unions and workingmen's groups wanted the city to provide public works projects. to fund public works project so
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people were nt starving. and due to a misunderstand, the police basically attack them as you see in the background. you have the labor radical and the labor mill assistants and reformers in some cases fleeing for their lives as mounted policeman club them. the founder of the american federation of labor who at this point was an imenglish cigar maker. was at the event left a lifelong mark on him in terms of understanding the clashes in the city. what did do you when the sense of a city of war with itself seems to threaten the property classes and maybe even the city
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government? this is national guard men who helped put down the streetcar strike of that year. by the late 1800 national guard units which are state sponsored often wealth businessmen and professors who form or join the units' themselves as a class war, we are going to be the front line or responsibility for property, for stability, and for security of the city, and of course, there's a physical dimension or architect yule dimension to this which is the armory. there are twenty armories in new york city. they are built partly with state money, city money also with donations con try biewtions from the guard -- contribution from the guard unit itself that
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occupy the building inspect is a initial state on park avenue since been altered, of course, the whole point is to build the castle-like or fror tees buildings where the national guard units can drill, have their headquarter, and store their weapons and only of the rhetoric that comes out on both sides by 1900 from labor activists saying these are the best deals. they are going to send the troops out to kill us. you have a spokesman with the guardsman talking about, you know, when the revolution comes if it comes. this is where we're going shoot down. this is where we'll send the troops out from. if we're attacks we will shoot down so to speak from the areas. we enter a shooting war, again,
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a plane did little war. they played a fellow promoting. the spanish-american war as you probably remember. the newspapers helped stir up a lot of war fever. particularly in cuba. this is a view souvenir view of the end of the war. at celebrate parade. ted i can roosevelt played a key role in the war as well. it's important to recognize, of course, there's a lot of -- of the country and we need to
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expand overseas, take over colonies and markets that we deserve, and there's also there's a sense of unity around that there dissending voices in new york city from both sides you have, for example, on the left daniel of the social labour party. one of the important marxist in america in the period. he denounces the pannish american war and the war against the filipino rebels in the philippines that succeeded in 1899. he called it war started by our expansion as capitalist on the other hand another new yorker karl who was a german immigrant. a liberal from the german revolution of 1848 who came over and became a republican an antislavery activist was a
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liberal in the early stages of his pub lynn lick career in america. by the 1880 when he settles in new york city, however, he's become more conservative and he's one of the antiimperialist in new york. people who are saying not from the left that we shouldn't take colonies or extent protective status to cuba and guam and the philippines. he's against it from the right because he sees it as racially dangerous. he says it's dangerous for the united states of america to incorporate a subject population of pannish americans, the mixture of indian and negro blood and other unspeakable. new york is the great immigrant destination in the period, it's far from being immune from a racialist and ethnically
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discrimination rhetoric and ideology. there's a long-term jumping ahead a little bit chronologically. there's a long-term rep rep cushion or ramification of new york's role in particular in takes over parts of the spanish overseas empire in 1898. certainly any number of new york businessmen wanted the sugar. they wanted to be a captive market in the spanish caribbean for banking capital and so on. but you also have, as a result new york becomes more and more destination for puerto ricans under the protect rat. in 1970 they are made u.s. citizens. new york becomes the great even before the 1940s is becoming great city for puerto ricans.
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the same way they become the third largest german-speaking city in the country. the largest jew city in the world. and so you have in the 1940, the gentleman who is the great father of portière portière began is spending the last years of suspended jail sentence in new york and new york becomes a mode of puerto rican activism. if you want not to taint all of the puerto rican independents nationalism, with the terrorist brush by any means if you remember in 1875 the terrorist bomb that went off at the tay vern in lower manhattan that killed actually five people and
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hurt 53, that was the legacy of militant puerto rican nationalism searching at the terrorism that out of the followers became a parcel of new york's sort of covert political culture. so all of these ways in which new york is this place that is bringing people in. that is a mecca for people, give it is a turbulence and a recurrent turmoil that casts on down through the decades. world war i 1914, we have to remember that when the great war world world war i began in europe in the summer of 1914, the u.s. didn't join the war until 1917. so we remain the great neutral. and because of that you have
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england and germany in particularly really competing for the harts and minds of americans and the way to that is prop began diaz in new york which is now the media capital of the country. and so in 1914, the german government covertly depositive its a lot of german bank notes on to a bank and that money is used through the good graces of the german embassy in my with the consulate officers in new york to start the magazine, "father land." a german-american poet is hired. this was basically a pro-german propaganda sheet. very cleverly done. claimed 100,000 american readers within a few months. now, obviously a large con ting ens of the readers are
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german-americans. they feel proud. they see no reason to dead grate the military ambitious, france, england, and russia can be claiming to be following their patriotic dis any. in fact, new york, what i was trying to say before, i think i misspoke. whey noapt say by the turn of the century, new york city was the third largest german-speaking community in the world after berlin and vienna. there's 750,000 german-americans in new york city. there's a pride. and it's attempt by the german government, they are covert to counter what is seen as the angle the pro-english and profrench feeling that see as emanating out of new york city out of the media out of wall
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street in particular. but new york city is not so simple in new york. it never is german v or i england or france. the world's war, the first war from 1914 on ward engages all the different ethnic groups national groups in new york city. many irish new yorkers are sympathetic with the movement for irish independents from england, or at least for sort of a more emphatic home rule. they say no reason to be proallied. they world war i are primarily england, france and russia. and so there is pro-german or anti-english feeling new york city very prominently among irish-americans. polish-americans is split. who is get to get us
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independents. it's a toss up. there's are different factions with polar. each group is looking across the ocean and really thinking about the national ambitiouses. jews bizarre russia is one of the principle allies. so you england with the constitutional monarchy the bull work of liberalism in the world, you have france, with the republican and sometimes the revolutionary tradition of liberty, equality, and you have russia which is the most back ward corrupt monarchy in europe and bitterly antisemitic.
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a large reason why so many jews come out heifer from russia poland part of the russian empire is because of the antisemitic policy and because of the 0 press -- oppressive military draft in russia. running the german the pro-german father land very shrewdly plays that card to get eastern european jewish immigrants to be pro-german or antiallied. its supposed to be ironic and sarcastic. that's czar nicholas the ii on the left. the jewish captive. during the world war i on the eastern front, the troops would often go to jewish villages and sort of drive the jews out
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toward the german lines as almost as a human shield as they move forward. the germans would shoot the jews and fewer russian soldiers. they are trying to mobilize hearts and minds. new york throughout the war is ongoing business. the germans, in addition to prop begannizing for their clause covertly are sabotaging new york in a certain sense before we join the war because by 1915, wall street and the railroads and the manufacturers who have headquarter around new york are selling weapons, supplies food credit, and so on hand over fist
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to the ally naps really on the western front were the french and the english troops are holding on desperately against the germans. wall street really is an important place as london or paris for the allies war earth. and jpmorgan and manufacturers are making a lot of money. it's also putting a lot of new yorkers to work. a lot of working class the economy before we were even in the war is good for new york in that sense. much of this stuff is being sent out of new york harbor from a peninsula in jersey city. it's in the middle of liberty state park. there's a little plack about it embedded in the grass if you look carefully you might be able to find. i'm being sarcastic. i'm glad it's there. you don't have a sense of the magnitude of this place, this
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compound this depot on the harbor on the jersey side of the harbor where they are pouring in to jersey city unloading guns ammunition food, uniforms mules, horses all of which are going to be loaded on to cargo ships. american and nutted really a and allied cargo ships and sent to france to fight in the war to help the allies to fighting. in 1916 the german government enlists a small number of cab stories that get in to the place at night and manage to detonate explosives and the thing goes sky high. throughout the whole area five people killed. but window glass is shattering all over new york city and
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jersey city. it's a big mess. it costs a lot of money. what's interesting is the sus aware of other german sabotage efforts they conclude it's a freak accident. it was only after the war after the investigation was it proven that the german kaisers government had actually triggered this thing. that was decided by a joint german-american court inquiry in 1939. gets what? do you think adofm hitler wanted to hand over money to america? but the west german government did after the war and the payment continued all the ware up true from west germany to the u.s. continued to 1979. we finally entered the war on the allied side in april of
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1917, after the germans had resumed their submarine warfare against american vessels at sea. there's a sense of this moment of unity of new yorkers and americans coming together. this is a photographer of june of 1917, new yorkers lining up to register to draft. i like -- my favorite thing in the picture is the hat the woman is wearing on the right. sense we're pulling again -- we're pulling together a here and win this thing. but as many of you know, it was not to unfold precisely that way. a lot of anxiety, a lot of fear and pair now ya about the mixed nature of american societies of which new york city was the most salient example of all these different immigrant groups. how do you unify them?
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while the germans persuade the people. a lot of germans are working to cab to my knowledge and spy on us as we speak. the war period 1917 to' 18 with wood row administration leading the charge there was a have a huge effort to shame german-americans and anyone who else might dare to question our whering the war on the allied side inspect is a newspaper cartoon with the enemy alien men nice looming over, you know, the singer building and the old post office that used to be there on lower broadway south of where city hall is and what's interesting, of course, the actual title of this cartoon is
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the "the breast of the hung" the hung being the german threat. this but this sort of sprilled over in to, for example, really wilson administration in congress passed an act which cracked down on anything that smacked of radicalism, pass schism of resistance to the war and true to form the most careful scrutiny or the most critical scriewt scrutiny was aimed at imgrants not only germans but a sense, for example, jews might be the cause. might be progerman. enters in to the public consciousness in new york. also the very real threat the germans may actually attack. the german military from outside that a german fleet might sail
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this n. this is joseph pinal, up with of the war bomb liberty posters from 1918 which is, you know trying to get you to be patriotic and buy war bond to help fund the government war effort by showing the scare image of the statute of liberty destroyed in a background on the right, it may be hard to see. it's supposed to be lower manhattan in flames. it's a german u boat and they managed to send planes over here to bomb and destroy and new york. here's the head and the crown of the statute of the liberty down here it. the reminds me of the end of the "planet of the apes." it wasn't far fetched they realized it was a long shot that anything would happen. the germans did send u boat it is took out of a cargo ships.
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one of them got so close to new york after long island that the guy -- one of the crewmen later wroted i look at night and saw the lights of manhattan just over the horizon. that was tanned losing. and ironically enough. you have a german in 1942 saying the same thing when the nay nazi u-boats came back. there was a scare in 1918 the rumor started in the newspaper maybe the germans can put, they fig dwrurred out a putting planes on board the u-boats off new york or other american americans they can bomb us. they have been bombing london, paris, and other allied capitals during world war i. and there were actually siren alerts in manhattan people in
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1918, according to the "new york times" are freaking out and saying maybe the alarm went off and maybe it's an air raid. we think -- we don't think of that. people worried about the new form of warfare being able to bridge the atlantic by the end of world war i. but of course, in flames of anti-german feeling in terms of germans in new york. in 1918, this is a nationwide thing. but the wilson administration has all german noncitizens that is german immigrants that have taken citizenship are supposed to be go to their local precinct and be identified and a record kept on them. it's known deter any wrong doing by these germans -- a lot of german-americans became stghts immigrants and some of them are serving in the western front. we don't distrust those.
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the guys who didn't take out their citizenship. it's a presumption of guilt and the notion these guys are maybe a threat. this is a picture in new york in fact it's hard to make out, burt the poster in the background of the cop who is fingerprinting him is partly yiddish. so -- but it's german-american being fingerprinted. the law actually required the wives of noncitizens germans in the u.s. to be fingerprinted too. that meant that even if you were a native-born american woman with no connection at all. you had married one of these guys, you had to be fingerprinted. it's a climate of suspicious of fear, great tension and i should say before i move on from that briefly, to the museum -- in to again, we don't have the
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nazis excuse me the kaiser fight anymore. the war is over. but there's a russian revolution. you've had radicals take over in russia. the communists and one of the u.s. army intelligence officers stationed in new york city during world war i a guy named john b trevor who spent the war tracing german spies and sabotages and so forth. decidings belie 12919 the next threat of the jews of the lower east side after all communism is a jewish plot he decided he gets the defense department to send him in washington to send him a springfield rifles to new york just in case they expose a revolution. it doesn't but the punchline to the story is that trevor in 1924, along with madison grant,
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another new yorker are hired as consult assistants to congress when they draft the national origins act. which is the keystone of the 190s u.s. immigration revision. which is quite frankly meant to keep inferior immigrants out of the country. that means jews, italians catholics, general anyone who might be a radical, based on a new racialist sense of a hierarchy that become a prevalence among some americans in the early 20th century. the notion that -- and perhaps the germans ironically enough are superior madison grant who is with trevor helps draft the legislation in congress. gets fan mail from adolf hitler before hitler takes pour this they help draft a law which re
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severely restricts who can immigrant in the country when the law is reformed again in 1965. you have new yorkers immigrants and antiimmigrant in this period really affecting public policy for the nation. jumping ahead to the '30s. these are american nazis. in 1939 this is the german-american. a minority within the german-american exphiewnty. world war i was traumatic for german-americans the willingness to get out there and be nationalist had been quelled. there was a small group of german-american nazis. most of them were recent immigrants from germany and they
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marched on 86th street and held rallies in madison square garden. this period in new york is a period the '30 suicide a simmering period because the depression people's feeling economically stressed competing for jobs, and because of the international situation, the rise of naziism we have stalin in control of the soviet union and invading ethiopia. the japan invading china. whenever you look in asia and europe, the civil war in 1936 it stings things up between the ethnic communities but different political communities. you have the german-americans. obviously you have the jewish community in new york, protesting against this. getting in to fistfights with the guys. in harlem and black harlem,
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african-americans and italian-americans are fighting in the street because newsily any has innovated and conquered africa. you have demonstration in china town against the japanese innovation of china and so on. it keeps the pot stirring. some new yorkers as well as other americans take this outside the country. they take it to spain in particular in 1936 '. 37. these are abraham lincoln brigade who went to fight against the rebellion against the spanish republican. he is joined by hitler and new lynn any and the republican was supported by stalin and the soviet union. you have have sort of a dress rehearsal for a world war ii being fought in spain. about 3000 americans go to fight as many as a foist a third of them from new york city.
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and so new yorkers are putting themselves again on the front line of international conflict. from 1934, the mayor of new york is a vocal one of the most vocal antinazi. he gets in to a transatlantic shouting match with berlin that goes on for several years. he declares hitler to be a man begannic and endangers the world and makes the statement publicly to the press. berlin is not amused and the prop propaganda ministry responds with things like this in 1937 it became public knowledge that will guardian is an italian-american was an
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italian but she was jewish. the nazis jump over this. one response is this german publication that says the jews in the united states and very uncomplimentary photothey found somewhere to enjoy fooded at the picnic and found a nasty picture of him. the whole point is look at the jew the mayor of new york. this is why we're on the march or going to be on the march. this went back and forth across the thick for several years. i'm running outs of time here. i wanted to tell you one antidote the german government protested to the roosevelt administration in the late '0s about can't you shut the guy up? we're not at war you know. and roosevelt turned to the state department and says we'll discipline him. like this, you know we're not
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-- we're going make a little go through the motions and the next time he came to the white house to meet roosevelt. he went hi yo and they a laugh about it. so bring up to the war, i better cap this in a moment. of course it was one of the great proponents of civil defense. this is before pearl harbor in 1941 thousand of new yorkers in early '41 volunteer to be air raid wardens or help them. the notion is they cam come over here. they may be able to do it. why take risk it's a way of mobilizing public opinion behind the ally cause before we're at war officially with the access. by the end of the war something like 400000 new yorkers took part in civil defense
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initiatives either as labor wardens during air raid drills or scanning the sky for bombers. my father-in-law did this as a 13-year-old in brooklyn. i had an uncle who did it in queens. he had a metal helmet like the guys ask. they had him looking on at the efforts. and in fact, this is civil defense poster from world war ii. the nazis didn't want to bomb new york. hitler was very clear about it. the head they were clear about it. there's a remarkable transcript from the '43 he says well, if we develop the technology the long-range bombers with the fuel tanks you do this getting a problem getting them across the thick at this point. if we can can do it we are going bomb two principle targets the
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new york city docks that made supply. all the supplies in world war i new york harbor is the great suppliers to the allies western front. and we're going get the docks and the jewish neighborhood. that's what they were obsessed with. and new york is the again the ethnic history of new york services again and again and again in the military history. so that is really brings us up out war. if you want to know about before the civil war and after world world war ii. get the book. i'll be happy to try to answer any questions. thanks for being a patient audience. i hope i haven't spoken too long. thank you. [applause] [inaudible] up in -- [inaudible]
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for a good reason because you have the nay cities landed eight saboteurs four at the hamptons. and four near jacksonville florida with the sort of half-baked kind of cookie plans to have them infiltrate or be predators on various industrial plants. one of the targets is supposed to be the railroad station in new jersey which is freight con due wit. if they had any sup pries left over any explosives left over say that were supposed to blow up so you wish department stories. subs did land people. also in the beginning of '42 within a few weeks of pearl harbor they sent subs over and torpedoing tankers and cargo
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ships off monotalk. all the way down they hit one-off atlantic city. that was a real fear. what's interesting, not to go in length. it's in the book. the point that is interesting to me, the blackouts and the dim outs and the various measures during the war to keep the lights low. so that enemies ceabtd -- can't see you was about the notion is the lights are they can bomb you. if they manage to get over. it was about the light of the city provide a backdrop if you're u-boat coming in off the thick and -- flake and you have the american coast atlantic city roch away beach in front of you and the lights on at night you have to surface and send your torpedoes at the enemy. the lights silhouette any kind of american ship or ally ship
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that's going parallel to the coast. so the notion was let's dim the lights to keep the u-boats away. anybody et. else? [inaudible] that's a complicated question about american foreign policy and how the war unfolded. but the fact is, i mean, try to give a short answer, you know part of had it to do with the fact that the gear has beens were sended out before we
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entered the war were sinking american shipping of course lose contain ya in may of 1915 schfs a british liner. but over 100 americans died on it. you can answer it on several levels wood row wilson tried to keep us out of the war. by 1917 with the germans resume you know, the germans get that what's keeping the western front what's keeping the english and the french fighting on the western front is the transatlantic convoy of ships that can supply them. the germans resume after german government actually disputes the higher military level, the army and the navy had a big fight about it. they resume sub warfare. you have the zimmerman telegram which, i think the british
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cryptingers decipher -- it's a message from the german foreign office in berlin to the mexican government basically the secret thick saying, you know if you join us mexico and germany maybe we'll get japan involved too. let's attack america. and so all of this the buildup of actual -- and there were, i mean i very much con zen the story which i tell greater length in the book. there is an explosion they can't figure out what happened. by 1916 there are numerous examples of german sabotage in new york and elsewhere. ships catching fire, things like this that are become investigated and becomes clear. the tensions are building. let alone the fact that the dominant culture is anglo.
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you know germans are about a fifth -- it's amazing to think that a turn of the century the german population is about 20% of the city. but it's only 20%. and the power of the establishment, the wall street press, government is very anglo filedded. yes? well, thank you very much. plldz [inaudible] [applause] [applause] [inaudible] thank you very joining us. thank you very much. we'd like to hear from you. tweet us your feedbook well, one of the things we like do at booktv is preview some upcoming books. and joins us now here at the
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book publish industry annual convention in new york city is new book coming out in september of 0 2012 is "my e m american revolution" what did you do to create this book? what was your thought behind it? >> i don't have many thoughts. but what i did was -- well i spent my whole life growing up -- [inaudible] i spent some time in oregon where my wife is from and school and other towns but pretty much growing up as a landscape and hearing kind of vague notions about [inaudible] or that there, and you know, and i remember running a marathon at one point in new york city saying i get where the hills are and the valleys are. and at some point i thought --
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[inaudible] the landscape and the history of new york. can they be put together? i went look for the revolution in new york and new jersey and in the try state area. revolution is 11:00 news weather map of the new york area. >> and what did you find? >> well,, i mean, growing up you'll hear about boston. [inaudible] things happen in boston. [inaudible] you hear a lot about virginia. and i tend to think that new york didn't have much to do with anything. but i discovered that it all happened here. it all happened here. and, you know, kind of want to start a battle with my friend in tbons saying, yeah, yeah, but
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washington and the continental army pretty much, you know have [inaudible] in and around new york city which the british controlled for pretty much the whole war. so then it come the -- why did they camp here and not here and you know what did the hills matter? and that's just the book one of the questions for me. what did the hills matter? what did the hills have to say? really looking for, you know history in. >> one of the things you did here there's a picture on the cover of you in a row boat you escaped from manhattan. what was that about? >> i did. actually, i escaped from brooklyn. i attempted to escape from brooklyn. everything with me is a long story. i apologize. basically i tried to write about the weather and how it affected the various battles and people talk about providence and god
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came in and dropped a bomb. but then i wept back to look at the vacuation of the troops from brooklyn to manhattan. the very first battle of the revolution which was in brooklyn, new york. washington and the generals were sure -- [inaudible] but it was in brooklyn after the first battle, they get romped which is bad. and washington and the guys say they have to get out of here. they run from the middle of brooklyn, sort of downtown water and they're sitting there waiting. overnight under the cover of fog and other things. they grab every thing they can and evacuate brooklyn. kind of opposite from now. people are moving to brock lynn from manhattan. maybe we can stop that. they evacuate with everything they find. they get there. i have a lot to say how it went. but ultimately when i go back to
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the place and look at what the the tides would have been doing and what they do today and how those things are essentially the same. i mean, like the rivers is the same because it's always changing. the [inaudible] it is an example of how we perceive history. but anyway, when we went down to go do it. i found it's pretty much illegal. i would not be allowed -- [inaudible] it would be illegal for me to get in a boat and evacuate by army to brooklyn. that would not be allowed. which is you know, you know it's problematic. i figured out a way do. i found some boater or boat houses they are the big thing. they take back the water with the revolution happening on the water and i find a guy i went a boat house and subsequently the boat house said the guy who
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helped found the boat house he used to reenact the evacuate of brooklyn. but he did it anyway. and so we went out and reenacted that guy's reenactment. so i'm -- i never had a to scare wear a wig. i should have worn a wig. >> what did you look in your elevation from brooklyn to manhattan? that you could tie in to the american revolution? >> well, i guess i said, the idea of revolution the time of the american revolution a thought we revert back to the british citizenship. we have the right again that we -- once as british citizen. there's that kind of old idea of reinvolving back to sting.
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-- something for me there's a initial idea of the calendar and the almanac revolutionary almanac colonial almanac kept ties and, you know, people keep them and read them and actually right after the war, the first mention they think of george washington, the father of our country, is in the almanac that is created in pennsylvania. so they're finding that washington is made the father, so to speak within out great landscape, this new york, new jersey connecticut landscaping. tps. the founding landscape. the first place named for washington is upper manhattan. it happens shortly after the war agains. [inaudible] nay the thing that i really discovered was that with the continues with no wake
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necessary, you can look in the [inaudible] even though it sounds crazy and see the path and you can go down and look at the ties and consider these things and how it relates to now. so that when you go up and look at george washington lookout point i say my daughter, we signaled with we recreated a signal point washington would use during the war. if you looked at signal points you -- [inaudible] it isn't there you'll be able to find the history books remanents of the missile crisis. that were put at the same point during the cold war to protect new york and philadelphia. and the same sight that was first [inaudible] a missile for the cold war and other things that i don't know about. if i go there today to a lot of
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those points a -- [inaudible] to 9/11 because people in the turnaround the city went to those same sights to see manhattan as washington's troops might have done to see the british were doing. it's a natural viewpoint. we are inclined to go to these places and think about the place in the. a lot of visitors to new york city, where is one place you would recommend viewers are interested? >> the simpleist thing is fake the ferry to the statute of liberty and look for the spot in the landscape over tat ten island the hill in staten island the highest point between maine and -- [inaudible] if you look at the hill and you have all modern convey enses, you're seeing pretty much what
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general nathaniel greene saw a brises l of cut down trees. you see the same exact thing. >> final question, i wanted to ask you about the -- [inaudible] here in new york. what's that story? >> a fascinating story. more people died on theship than died in the war in battles in the. so after the battle of brooklyn the british picked up everybody they captured they put them on several old ships that was in between the brooklyn bridge and the manhattan briblg and the williams berg bridge. and the i.c.e. river. and they sat them there and kept putting more people on. there were not just continental soldiers but slaves who rather
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ran and didn't turn to the british. there were spanish sailors and dutch sailors. there were all kinds of people on the ships, and people in frankly poor communities dime see them from the shore. they were, you know, get to the boat somehow. they would collect -- [inaudible] the british threw the bodies over. they continually write the lettering you can't treat the prisoners like this. hef. ed to treat the prisoners fairly. in the letters i read anyway. in the boats shat there through the war and for a long time after walt withman works hard to set up a memorial the bones are there. ..


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